Strictly Ballroom the Musical @ Friday, May 29, 2015

Charlie & Co. attended Strictly Ballroom as guests of Nuffnang.

I love musicals, though have never actually seen one professionally done, live. On dvd I've seen: Sweeney Todd, Hairspray, The Music Man, Grease, Mama Mia, Rocky Horror and Chicago. During high school we saw RENT, Sweeney Todd and Joseph and the Technicolor Coat, yes I believe in that order. With so many musicals coming to Melbourne I'm actually not sure why I have never seen one. I suppose it's because my life is a series of self discoveries because growing up in San Francisco we never went out or ate anywhere other than McDonalds. I have no memories of going to the city, to cafes/restaurants or anything - because it's just something we didn't do. It's a blank slate. Also like in movies based in a small country town in the South I was home schooled (up to middle school), mother made my clothes and the first time I went to the movies was in 2000. So on my own I'm discovering many new things, and going on many adventures and many firsts.

Tonight was the first time I see a professional musical - live. Well a large scale one, I just realized that I've seen 'Loving Repeating' which was done by a professional group too. While it doesn't happen often I love walking past the theatres, with their red curtains and 100s of bright lights, just like on Broadway. Thanks to Nuffnang tonight we got to see 'Strictly Ballroom the Musical', a rare Australian Musical.

I saw the movie a few years ago, once, when it was on tv playing in the background so recognized the ads on the sides of the stage. The characters when not dancing do actually have jobs, as hairdressers, plumbers (I think), cosmetic consultants and spa shop owners, and there were ads for their businesses.

Every musical has that one song that the audience remembers, and during this one - I think there was a disco ball. I actually don't remember, or maybe it was at the end? I only saw the first half as I had a second show to get to that night. Sadly tickets I couldn't exchange for another night, as they wanted the media group for opening night. 

Strictly Ballroom The Musical is the inspiring story of a championship ballroom dancer who defies all the rules to follow his heart. This uplifting and courageous tale originated as a stage play that Baz Luhrmann created as a student at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) back in 1984. Interestingly one of my (live performance) teachers is friends with Baz and they worked together in the 80/early 90s.

The sets are stunning and reflect the movie, but also build upon it. Having a set stage and not a space you can just zoom back on and pan around means that there are restraints. In the scene set in Fran's yard by the railway with an open sky I love the colourful lanterns that add something special.

But my favourite scene is 'that one song that the musical's known/remembered for' I like to call it the headliner song, and it's not always the end one, like 'You're the One I Want' in Grease or 'Time of My Life' in Dirty Dancing. In 'The Rocky Horror Show' it's 'Time Warp' and towards the beginning. That's a lot of examples *in exam mode*. For 'Strictly Ballroom' that headliner scene is the one where Scott & Fran dance on the rooftop of the studio, with the sequin Coke sign in the background. I checked the movie, and that sign also sparkles - I've never seen a sign like that in real life before, one with sequins. The exception is outside strip clubs.

It's funny how the guy in green looks like he's wearing a kimono, because there's a second person behind him on the right. In this picture we're checking out Fran's dress - which I didn't see in person, as we didn't see the second half.

I've just noticed those are two different dresses!

Scott & Fran's Family. I thought Les should have been an honorary member, and Scott's sister should have been in it? My favorite character is the mother, for whose life evolves around ballroom much like all the other characters. Tina sparkles (what a pretty name!) And her pineapples were entertaining. 

I'm curious as to who's the girl on the stand, in the green/blue dress who doesn't participate that much? She's not really a dancer. Edit: I found out who the girl in blue is! She's Fran's partner in the movie.

It was a dazzling show of feather, 200,100 crystals, sequins, striper suits and musical numbers. Not all the musical numbers added to the musical though. But I did enjoy the headliner 'Time After Timeand 'A Life Lived in Fear' to the Tune of the Habanera from Bizet’s Carmen 

I love how the head judge is evil and you know it through the lightening and music. Fran's hair is so fake XD. It's amazing how the wig are put on to stay on during dances, mine sure doesn't do that! It's probably braided into the performer's actual hair.

Some Fun Facts

  • 200 costumes in the show, decorated with 745m of coloured ostrich features. 
  • Some of the ballgowns weigh as much as 5kg.
  • There are 84 wigs in the show, valued at $4000 each, redressed and washed every day.
  • About 4000 lights globes, as well as 2km of stringed globes, are used in the theatre.
  • The cast goes through 5 litres of spray tan a week.

Have you seen 'Strictly Ballroom'? What did you think of it?

Post a Comment

Previous Posts ~ More Recent Posts